How God ensures that atheists can relax

Scripture is Holy Spirit inspired.  Therefore it teaches us not only about God’s plan for man, but also how brilliant He is.  Let us look at God’s desire to be among His people:

#  Eden

The pattern of God being among His people begins in Genesis 2, ‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day….’ 1

#  The Fall

  • When Adam and Eve were driven away from God’s presence, He still desired to be among His people.
  • Note the word ‘His.’  God is well aware that there are people who don’t want to be in His presence, but want to go their own way.  He will never force Himself on an unbeliever, because He respects every one’s free will.  So the thread of God’s presence with His people, through the Bible, applies only to those who make a covenant with Him.

#  The Tabernacle

  • When the Israelites, His people, were freed from slavery under the Egyptians, God said to Moses, ‘…have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them….’ It was basically a tent, called the tabernacle, the ‘tent of meeting.’ 3
  • Later during times of apostasy the tabernacle was destroyed.  David brought the ark that survived to Jerusalem. 4

#  The Temple

  • Solomon’s Temple.  David wanted to build a ‘house’ for God.  His son Solomon built it, and God was again in the midst of His people, in the capitol city, Jerusalem, ‘When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.’ 5  Because of the people’s idolatry, God left the temple. 6  Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians.
  • Herod’s Temple.  However, after the exile, the second temple was built.  Later Herod extensively improved it, so it was called Herod’s temple.   God’s promise was, ‘The glory of this house will be greater than the glory of the former house….’ 7   This was the temple that Jesus frequented.  Herod’s temple was destroyed in 70 AD because of unbelief in Jesus and to point to God’s New Covenant.

#  The Holy Spirit

  • Still God wanted to be among His people.  With the New Covenant, God’s plan became individual. When Jesus ascended, He sent the Holy Spirit.  As God’s representative the Holy Spirit would live inside believers.
  • This time, no external factor can destroy God’s desire to be among His people.  The promise is that the Holy Spirit will be with us eternally, ‘The Spirit and the Bride….’ 8

#  The new Eden / new heaven and earth

Finally, God Himself will descend from heaven to be eternally among His people, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God.'” 9 

Conclusion

Glory to God for His persistence to establish His Family by His grace.  His people will enjoy His presence eternally.  Atheists can relax!  They will not be subjected to the ‘injustice’ of God’s presence for all eternity.  God respects people’s free will.

References

  1. Genesis 3:8
  2. Exodus 25:8
  3. Exodus 33:7-9
  4. 2 Samuel 6
  5. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
  6. Ezekiel 10
  7. Haggai 2:9
  8. Revelation 22:17
  9. Revelation 21:3

Bart Ehrman and the narrow road

The faith of many followers of Jesus is shaking under the heavy One waybarrage of anti-God and anti-Bible propaganda by so-called ‘experts.’ It is because the devil, God’s enemy, is always devising plans to get God’s people off the track. One way is to use ‘theologians’ and ‘pastors’ who don’t care at all about Christ and the Kingdom. They can easily get us distracted from the narrow road by their ‘authoritative’ teaching.

Scripture shows us how to remain on the narrow road that leads to eternal life:

1. Be sure you are filled with the Holy Spirit. ‘And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.’  1

2. The Holy Spirit is the ‘guarantee’ that one is not led astray.When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.’  2

The question is whether these critics of the Bible have the Holy Spirit? Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to comment on the Bible accurately, ’The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 3 It is almost like a person who teaches mathematics but doesn’t understand the subject at all.

If an agnostic like Dr Bart Ehrman makes negative statements about the Bible, red warning lights should go on in the minds of believers. We are clearly taught that, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.’ 4  A person who claims to be an agnostic and who criticises the Bible cannot have the Spirit. The Spirit teaches us how to understand the Bible, not attack it.

The narrow road means we should not be so gullible and believe everything, ‘But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.’ 5

To reiterate, the ‘narrow road’ means just that, ‘narrow.’ We have to be wide awake with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He walked the narrow road and rebuked  false teachers, ‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves will never enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.’ 6

References

  1. Romans 8:9b
  2. John 16:13
  3. 1 Corinthians 2:14
  4. Jude 18-19.
  5. 2  Corinthians 11:3-5.
  6. Matthew 23:13.

When Richard Dawkins met the Holy Spirit

It is always interesting when the protagonists of two opposing camps HS and RDmeet. Dr Richard Dawkins is the famous author of The God Delusion. His main effort is to convince people that the God of the Bible does not exist and His Book (the Bible) was the product of ancient and ignorant tribes men. So it has no special significance or value. One day he met the Holy Spirit, the inspiration behind the 66 books of the Bible.

What was the first question the Holy Spirit asked Dawkins after the introductions?

# 1. Evolution. He was curious to know what inspired Richard to devote almost his whole life to promote something that is manifestly untrue (evolution), and based upon that, decide that the Creator God does not exist and therefore the Bible is not true?

  • Richard’s reply was that Darwin conclusively proved that there is no Creator God. When prompted to show where in the book, On the Origin of Species Darwin proved it, Dawkins could only point to the artificial breeding of dogs, pigeons, and domestic cattle. The implication and deduction was that life forms are able to change from one species to another over time.
  • Logically, the Holy Spirit pointed out that the dogs always remained dogs. As the dogs became more ‘specialised’ they lost more and more genetic information. Their DNA deteriorates. So they will never develop into more complex life forms like lions or bears.

# 2. Origin of life. When the Holy Spirit asked him about the origin of life, Richard came alive. He had the answer: scientists are working on it and will soon discover how first life on planet earth began. Besides, he was sure that life would be found on other planets. Asked about the names of those planets (remember God made them all, knows them each by name and what they are like – Isaiah 40:26), Dawkins again affirmed that they will still be discovered. So, in the mean time people have to believe evolution, without evidence?

# 3. Big Bang. Then the Holy Spirit queried him about his strange reliance on future events, and his refusal to accept that God has a future plan to create new heavens and a new earth.

  • Richard lamely explained that God does not exist. He did not create the universe, because it was the result of the big bang: nothing expanded and formed it all. Nothing gave rise to all of nature we see around us.
  • So the Holy Spirit asked him why he cannot believe that God, as the logical cause, created everything from nothing? He just replied that he does not like God and does not want to be in His company. The Holy Spirit reassured him that he has nothing to fear. There is no chance that Richard will ever be in God’s presence, unless he decides that God is not so bad.

At that the Holy Spirit greeted Richard cordially, hoping the man would avert the coming catastrophe when he dies and faces God.

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